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Oh, you totally should be able to take off for a year. The same way you can elect not to go to university. Or look in the laser. You just have to live with the consequences. And in many, many professions, a year or so out of practice means that you are measurably worse. Maybe (but likely) worse than before you left, but almost certainly worse than you could be if you would have used that year to get better at what ever you do.

In software, a year off might mean you get better. If you have more time to work on your own ideas and explore new paradigms instead of cranking out fizzbuzz all day in between commutes, you can become better.

Totally. Same goes for sabbaticals in science, for example. It really depends on what you are doing in that year though, and how fast your particular field is moving.

Are you still going to be worse after a month of work?

Are companies that short-term-oriented?

Depends really on what work you are doing. Garbage collector, probably no. Helicopter pilot, probably yes.

>Are companies that short-term-oriented?

Publicly traded ones. There are only 3 months between Earnings Reports.

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